What a dumb question
JWs Outlawed in Russia
While I oppose any government's ban on relgious freedom, I must say that Moscow's contention that JWs are "extremists" is not without merit. (Imagine a Russian prosecutor in court entering into evidence the 2016 convention videos of little Sergei the voilin prodigy being pressured by his dad into refusing a scholariship to a prestigious conservatory, or the JW mom that refuses to answer her disfellowshipped daughther's phone call...how would that play to a jury?)
Its a simple question of individual choice and liberty. Its never cause for celebration when a government infringes on such, even when its for a cause you like. Tomorrow they infringe on you.
Morph u r 100% correct
I don't agree with JW teaching but freedom of religion and belief is a fundamental human right. The Russian government's accusations are fueled by the Russian Orthodox Church's hatred of Witnesses. Russia is increasingly returning to the days of totalitarianism and oppression. Banning non-conformist, minority or unpopular religions is just one symptom--it is doing other unsavory things as well, such as squelching a free media. For anyone who cares about human rights, this is not a cause for rejoicing. Do you really think Putin will stop at JWs? Oppression of one minority usually means oppression of other minorities is soon to follow (if it has not already).
I may be wrong on this, (And if I am, somebody please correct me...) but to my knowledge neither the Catholic Church nor The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints deliberately tramples upon the basic human rights of their members.
They do not forbid medical treatments that have become standard protocol. They do not violate medical autonomy by stepping in and making specific rulings about the permissibility of experimental treatments for individuals. They do not require their members to break confidentiality law and/or professional medical ethics. They do not deny their members the right to an impartial record of disciplinary proceedings. They do not practice a form of shunning straight out of the Middle Ages. They do not refuse to allow members to leave, discontinue or change their religious beliefs with dignity. They do not refuse to cooperate with government inquiries on child abuse. They do not go before the ECHR and deliberately lie so that they can continue these practices.
People can call this stuff "religious freedom" if they want, but the liberal, "anything goes" view of religion we hold here in the U.S., where even The Church of Euthanasia has a right to exist is not universal.
My family sent me the letters they sent to Russian officials begging them not to ban the JWs. They also sent me emails telling me this was proof of the Great Tribulation. This just feeds into their belief that the end is near and the "System is Ending". Those words get used a lot in conversations...Ugh.
This will make their paranoia worse.
Td, thats where i have to break with you. Jw’s dont “forbid” anything, nor do they have the authority to forbid. They have no power their membership dosent willingly grant. Your free to leave anytime. Your family and friends dont have shun you, its a choice they make. I realize this is an unpopular opinion but we all have choices even if those choices are influenced by a high control religious group.
Morpheus - "...JWs dont 'forbid' anything..."
The Watchtower Society forbids things.
You raise an interesting question Morpheus and I think the answer lies in the distinction between freedom of choice and the ability to freely exercise it.
To borrow a scenario from The Godfather, if someone were to hand you a blank check and tell you, "In ten seconds either your signature will be on that check or your brains will be on the check" have they taken away your freedom of choice?
I would argue that freedom of choice in the absolute sense is an abstract that's virtually impossible to take away from anyone. What actually gets taken away is the ability to freely exercise it.
So when you say that JW's don't forbid anything; that they don't have the authority to forbid and that it ultimately comes down to freedom of choice, I don't disagree, but I don't think that's quite the issue.
The issue is whether a church may attach adverse consequences to choices that are considered to be basic human rights and still be recognized as a church.
This is what the JW's, in the amicable settlement mediated by the ECHR, agreed to do in order to be recognized as a church in Bulgaria
"The applicant undertook with regard to its stance on blood transfusions to draft a statement for inclusion in its statute providing that members should have free choice in the matter for themselves and their children without any control or sanction on the part of the association." (Information Note No. 148 on the 276th Session of the European Commission of Human Rights -- Section B II)
We both know that didn't happen.
The JW's chose to trample upon basic human rights as recognized by the ECHR and now they're crying like stuck pigs when a country that doesn't particularly like religion to begin with bans them.